Planting citrus and especially tangerines is a profitable agricultural activity, according to expert estimates.
Taking into account a normal annual yield of 50 tons per hectare and a wholesale price of 35-45 ALL per kilogram, gross income per hectare is 2.2 million ALL, ranking it in the most profitable activity in agriculture.
A study prepared by experts from the EBRD-funded Albanian Agribusiness Support Program suggests that the establishment of new citrus plantations using the most sought-after cultivars on the market represents, among other things, a new space for lending by financial institutions.
The largest producer of citrus and tangerines in our country is the region of Vlora and the area of Konispol, which provide over 60 percent of domestic production with an average annual yields of 40 thousand tons. From 2005-2019 the production of tangerines in the country has increased 40-fold. Investments to expand production should consider comprehensive investment projects ranging from tree planting, drip irrigation system and plant nutrition through irrigation system.
According to observations in production areas there are deficiencies in storage capacities, which are not sufficient to store the product in stable conditions without losing value. Investing in refrigeration capacity is considered a necessity to reduce the high supply in the market at the peak of production and to consolidate the supply for export longevity.
Additional investments are also needed in the packaging process. Currently tangerines exported to Kosovo are still unclassified by size and quality. For investments that provide selection and do not have high costs producers lose profits from quality production.
Tangerine sales and exports are facing a crisis this year, due to falling demand in neighboring countries, mainly in the region and Kosovo. As a result, qualified growers in the Xarra and Konispol areas are facing heavy losses, and crops are rotting on trees.
Citrus production has been good this season, but the pandemic has badly affected season sales. Astrit Tartari, a tangerine grower in the Konispol area, said that there was information that demand has decreased in countries where Albania dominates the supply of this product, such as Kosovo.
Tangerine production has increased rapidly in recent years, as a result of well-organized production on farms and cooperatives in the South, where advanced technology is also used. Albanian tangerines are exported to the region and mainly to Kosovo.